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Eye On Boise

Ybarra hires Foltman to audit SDE contracts, seeks full-time contract overseer next year

New state schools Superintendent Sherri Ybarra has hired Brad Foltman, the retired former budget director under five governors, to audit the State Department of Education’s contracting process. Foltman has a 60-day contract for up to $25,000; Tim Corder, special assistant to Ybarra, said the contract may be extended beyond the 60 days if needed. “The department didn’t have a contracts person,” Corder said, though it handles 1,500 contracts a year. Ybarra has requested a position in next year’s budget to oversee contracts for the department, but in the meantime, “We thought it was prudent to take a look at what has happened,” Corder said.

All SDE contracts were reviewed by the Attorney General’s office, he said. “We did verify that, so we know they were legal. That’s not the issue. Our process is what we want to look at.” Corder said the move wasn’t prompted by concerns over a particular contract. “It was the volume,” he said. “With that many, you need a defined procedure,” along with a way to determine whether contractors met expectations. “That didn’t exist,” Corder said.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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